FAREWELL TO TXFM

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TXFM ended the same week as our al­bum re­lease – the sta­tion that played our songs the most was gone. Our band was steeped in the sta­tion and its pre­de­ces­sor Phan­tom. In our minds, there was a serendip­ity to it end­ing and our al­bum be­gin­ning.

We had a dual view of the sta­tion, a unique po­si­tion as both artists and lis­ten­ers.

A big mo­ment for our band – a spot of luck – was sup­port­ing Echo & The Bun­ny­men. Not only were we play­ing with a leg­endary act, but the show was also be­ing hosted by Phan­tom pre­sen­ter Claire Beck. Luck­ily Claire took to our mu­sic and put two of our tracks on the main playlist. After that, for the first time, we no­ticed new faces at our shows singing our songs to back us.

When I heard the an­nounce­ment TXFM was clos­ing, the first thing I did was text my band­mates. It was sad­den­ing.

The truth is I felt a sense of loss about the clo­sure of a great sta­tion. But there was also a self­ish sense of loss for our band – who would play our mu­sic so much now? I couldn’t help it; so many mu­sic fans heard our songs there.

As lis­ten­ers we would ar­rive at re­hearsal: “Did you just hear that song on TX?” We were all tuned in.

The pre­sen­ters’ love of mu­sic was ob­vi­ous and in­fec­tious.

I re­mem­ber my band­mate Diane telling me about listening to early Phan­tom, and how it was a great place for dis­cov­ery, long be­fore I moved to Dublin.

But TXFM was still turn­ing me, and us, on to new artists all the time, in­clud­ing The Shins, Hay­ley Bonar, Gran­daddy, Metron­omy, PJ Har­vey, Hot Chip and Bat For Lashes, to name just a few. In re­cent times, the show de­voted to 1991 was ge­nius. It felt like a sta­tion set free.

As the end edged closer, I re­mem­ber my band­mate Jar­lath won­der­ing, how can a sta­tion that is so loved and en­gaged with – that has such a unique po­si­tion – be clos­ing? Surely it can work fi­nan­cially in some form?

From an artist’s per­spec­tive, it went from our friends tex­ting, “Your band are on the radio again”, to tex­ting “I can’t be­lieve it’s end­ing”.

It’s tough work in a band, putting an al­bum to­gether – it’s in­tense and it drains you. Get­ting played on a sta­tion like TXFM, know­ing mu­sic fans are hear­ing your songs, is one of the com­pen­satory joys.

That fi­nal hour of TX was spe­cial. We were sup­posed to be re­hears­ing for our al­bum launch, but couldn’t. We just sat in the car, in si­lence, listening.

In the end ev­ery­one seemed to re­alise how much it meant to the pre­sen­ters, the artists, the lis­ten­ers. It was fi­nally un­de­ni­able, be­cause the out­pour­ing from pre­sen­ters, artists and fans was un­prece­dented and pure.

Re­hearsal was bit­ter­sweet that even­ing. We hope an­other sta­tion takes on the man­tle. Ti­dal Waves gets a live air­ing in The Work­man’s Club, Dublin on Novem­ber 11

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